American Sphinx

American Sphinx is the aptly titled biography of Thomas Jefferson.  It is an apt title because Jefferson was so elusive and complicated.  He could seemingly hold two conflicting ideas in his mind at the same time.  He could be a slaveholding farmer who had an intimate relationship with one of his slaves, while decrying the evils of slavery and the glory of freedom and equality.  He could argue for a limiting of the federal government while pursuing the massive Louisiana Purchase.

No doubt Thomas Jefferson was an important President and founding father of our country, a man who had enormous influence in the Declaration of Independence.  But I found him to be under-whelming, short-sighted and self-centered in so many ways.